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Nato, Afghan transit transporters go on strike

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan 5, IRNA -- Transporters that carry Nato supplies and Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) cargo have suspended their operations for an indefinite period, a media report said on Saturday.

'Express Tribune' reported that goods transporters' unions have staged a protest outside the Karachi Press Club against the customs bonded carrier system of the Federal Bureau of Revenue's (FBR) and announced their strike.

The bonded carrier system implies that authorised licensed companies are responsible to contract cargo shipments from ports in Karachi to Afghanistan and truckers have to go through these registered firms to haul the trans-border supplies.

"Transportation of transit cargo to Afghanistan has stopped from trucking hubs of Karachi, Quetta, Torkham and Chaman in protest against the new system," said Haji Khan Dil Khan Niazi, who chairs All Pakistan Goods Transporters' Welfare Association.

"Transporters are forced to go on strike against the bonded carrier system of FBR as we are facing huge difficulties and financial losses," Niazi said.

Niazi made it clear that if the FBR did not meet the demands of transporters, the strike may also hit the local supplies of goods for an indefinite period from January 8.

"There are about 8,500 carriers which transport goods from Karachi Port and Port Qasim to domestic market, Nato, Isaf and transit cargo to Afghanistan," he pointed out, adding they would shut down in protest.

He said the FBR has issued licences to nearly 40 companies to control the transit cargo.

According to Niazi, the bonded carrier system has severely affected transporters. "Now the transporters cannot take contracts for transit cargo, unless the company, which they are registered with, allows them to undertake another company's job," he said.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 1044288

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